Books by Harold Schechter

Harold Schechter is a professor of American Literature and culture at Queens College, the City University of New York. Among his nonfiction works are the historical true-crime classics Fatal, Fiend,Deviant, Deranged, and Depraved. He also authors a critic

HELL'S PRINCESS by Harold Schechter
Released: April 1, 2018

"A fascinating and dramatic page-turner that will be a new favorite among true-crime fans."
In this depraved story of sex, deception, greed, and murder, a veteran true-crime writer offers the first definitive history of Belle Gunness (circa 1859-1908), the most prolific female serial killer in American history. Read full book review >
THE MAD SCULPTOR by Harold Schechter
Released: Feb. 18, 2014

"For readers who enjoy the stories of the sensationalistic press of the 1930s and its crass exploitation of the details of horrific murders; not for fans of clever police work or investigative reporting."
The fiendish story of "mad sculptor" Robert Irwin (1908-1975), featuring "the kind of lurid goings-on that speak to the secret dreams and dangerous desires of the public." Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2010

"Possesses all the elements of lurid true crime and dark early American history."
Energetic Wild West tale about two enterprising brothers whose determination to make something of themselves came to radically different ends. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 23, 2007

"Skillfully captures a colorful mishmash of New York characters caught up in a moment of extreme public anxiety."
A terrifically overwrought buildup eventually leads to the turn-of-the-century murder trial and eventual acquittal of New Jersey chemist Roland Burnham Molineux. Read full book review >
THE TELL-TALE CORPSE by Harold Schechter
Released: March 7, 2006

"Porous plotting, plummy prose and an insufferably pretentious series protagonist give new meaning to Nevermore."
To solve a series of grotesque and loathsome murders, detective Edgar Allan Poe enlists the aid of 12-year-old Louisa May Alcott. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 2005

"A bloody fine riposte to those who would censor with clouded hindsight and muddy reasoning."
Why the good old days were actually often quite nasty. Read full book review >
THE MASK OF RED DEATH by Harold Schechter
Released: Aug. 3, 2004

"If only one could say the same for The Mask of Red Death."
Frontier scout Kit Carson and the nefarious "Mountain Man" known as "Liver-Eating Johnson" cross paths with Edgar Allan Poe in crime researcher Schechter's third period mystery (The Hum Bug, 2001, etc.). Read full book review >
THE HUM BUG by Harold Schechter
Released: Nov. 13, 2001

"Nonetheless, a worthy addition to the famous-dead-people-as-private-investigators genre. Here, the hero is treated as a real person, not a stiff literary icon."
A killer's on the loose in mid-19th-century New York, and it's up to a cunning showman and a gloomy scribbler to catch him. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2000

"Masterful research, although some material appears to function as a story-stretcher."
A popular true-crime writer offers his fifth in a chilling series on serial killers. Read full book review >
NEVERMORE by Harold Schechter
Released: Jan. 1, 1999

"Good atmosphere, dull story."
Davy Crockett meets Edgar Allan Poe—and together they set out in search of Baltimore's 1830s equivalent of John Wayne Gacy: a gothic thriller (and first hardcover fiction) from Schechter (Depraved: The Shocking Story of America's First Serial Killer, 1994, etc.) Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 15, 1994

"An acerbic period sketch and a readable tale of pure Gothic horror straight from the heartland of America."
The ghoulish saga of Dr. H.H. Holmes, the dapper devil who established himself as America's first serial killer 100 years ago. Read full book review >